Welcome to Rustic Pathways in Mongolia!
Our operations in Mongolia began in June 2009 with immersive and rustic experiences for our students. Since then we have delved even deeper into the rich Mongolian culture to deliver hands-on service and outdoor adventures.
Group Travel in Mongolia
We custom design our Journeys to meet your school’s requirements, so please contact us to discuss the type of experience you are looking for. As a general guide, here are some of the potential elements of your Journey through Mongolia:
Rustic Pathways has developed various long-term partnerships with communities and local organisations in Mongolia.
Some of our service projects that you could support include:
Sogoog Village: Engage with a locally run NGO to carry out service projects designed in consultation with herding families, village elders and small towns in the region. Though projects may vary based on current needs, you will likely help organize a summer camp for children of local nomadic families, for them to practice their English, improve summer knowledge retention, and possibly teach them about dental hygiene, a rarity in nomadic cultures until our partner NGO began an education program.
Green Project: Help provide nourishing vegetables by volunteering in the local town’s “Green Project” gardens, an effort to provide a more balanced diet to the meat-and-dairy heavy nomads.
Education and Cultural Exploration
Lose your breath at the vast untamed reaches of the Mongolian steppes. Immerse yourself in traditional Mongolian life as you learn to appreciate the warmth of a ger, the reach of the sky, and the value of a shared cup of tea. Take in the ancient practice of the Three Manly Sports, trek through the wild west of the Altai Mountains, and visit the last eagle hunters on earth as you adopt the nomadic lifestyle. You may like to incorporate some of the following experiences into your Journey:
Terelj National Park: Discover the most well-known park in central Mongolia, famous for its unique rock formations and stunning views.
Kharakhorum: The ancient capital of Genghis Khan’s empire and a UNESCO World Heritage site. See the imposing statue of Genghis Khan, astride the largest horse sculpture in the world.
The Kazakh Culture: Learn how to sew traditional Kazakh handicrafts, and partake in nomadic dances to the tune of the dombor, a traditional Kazakh instrument.
Living with Eagle Hunters: Immerse yourself with a traditional Mongolian nomadic family and live with the famed Kazakh eagle hunters of Bayan-Ulgii.
National History Museum of Mongolia: Visit the National History Museum of Mongolia, where you’ll learn all about the fascinating history of Genghis Khan, his daughters and grandsons who built the world’s largest contiguous empire in history and whose influence on the world’s culture and history is largely underemphasized in Western textbooks. A special highlight is the hall of traditional costumes, which shows the cultural dress of Mongolia’s various ethnic subgroups.
Cultural Show: Visit a rousing cultural show that features traditional dances and the one-of-a-kind khoomi throat-singing.
Ulaanbaatar Markets: Visit a local outdoor market, a maze of stalls and alleys, featuring everything from hand-carved wooden horse saddles to knock-off sportswear. If you want to buy a traditional Mongolian jacket or boots, this is the place to do it.
Adventure and Challenge
Adventure and challenge is inherent to every Journey, however, if you are looking to physically challenge your students through a specific activity, you may opt to include:
Horseback Riding: Spend an afternoon on horseback in the beautiful valleys of Terelj National Park.
Trekking: Embark on a 5-day trek (2 days driving, 3 days hiking) to the peaks of the country’s highest mountain range, The Altai Mountains, where you can see China, Russia, and Mongolia at the same time.
Sports with local kids: Play a pick-up soccer or volleyball game at a summer camp in the Terelj National Park for Mongolian students of all ages.
Eagle Hunters: Ride camels and hold a Golden Eagle from the world’s last remaining Eagle Hunters – the Kazakh eagle hunters of Bayan-Ulgii.
There are various accommodation options that we can offer in Mongolia; it depends on how “rustic” you would like your Journey to be.
Guesthouses: A variety of shared rooms in cities and towns is a great way to get a comfortable nights sleep.
Homestays in Gers: These are traditional Mongolian tents and will be the main style of accommodation on the trip. This style of accommodation has limited amenities but is a truly unique and life-changing experience.
Sample Itinerary (Off the Map: Mongolia)
An epic cultural immersion into the far reaches of central and western Mongolia
Day 1 Arrive in Ulaanbaatar
Greet your Rustic Pathways Program Leaders at the airport and transfer directly to your first Mongolian meal. Participate in a short orientation to prep you for your upcoming week.
Day 2 Explore Mongolia’s History
Start your day with a 300-step climb to Zaisan Memorial for views of Ulaanbaatar. Unwrap the history of nomads and the great Mongol Empire at the National Museum of Mongolia. Discover the intellectual games and puzzles of Mongols at the International Intellectual Museum.
Day 3 Volunteer at a Local School
Work in the district outside Ulaanbaatar City to support a public school. Help build a more attractive and comfortable learning facility for children who face the hardship of low-income life in the ger district, the area not connected to water or sewage lines. Return to your gers for dinner and evening activity.
Day 4 Finish Service Projects
Enjoy a cultural show from the students at the school where your group volunteered to conclude your service. Be prepared to potentially perform a cultural show of your own! Stop at the 130-foot-tall Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue, part of the Ghenghis Khan Statue Complex on the bank of the Tuul River, on the way back to camp.
Day 5 Aryabal Temple Hike and Archery
Hike to mountainside Buddhist monastery Aryabal Temple in Gorkhi-Terelj National Park and spend some time reflecting on your experience so far in Mongolia at this center of peace. Take a lesson in archery, one of Mongolia’s traditional “manly” sports. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings before visiting a herding family to try different types of dairy products.
Day 6 Journey Back to Ulaanbaatar
Marvel at the views over the expansive city as your trek further out into Mongolia’s wilds. Look out for snow patches, camel crossings, and a hospitable family’s gerto stop for tea.
Day 7 Experience Mongolian Culture
Spend the day souvenir shopping at fair trade stores. Enjoy a rousing cultural show that features traditional dance, music of various ethnic groups, and the one-of-a-kind khoomi throat singing. At dusk, commemorate your time in Mongolia with Rustic ties, a Rustic Pathways tradition to honor experiences in country.
Day 8 Return Home
Say goodbye to Mongolia and your new friends before heading home.
Please chat to us if you have any special requests that you would like included in your Journey.
There is nothing too big, small, or out-of-the-box that we can’t handle.
Please email us at email@example.com to start designing your Journey!
We would be delighted to partner with your school to support the global education of your students.